Can't Say Death Was Due To Negligent Trespass: Madras HC Orders Compensation For Family Of Man Who Was Hit By Train While Sitting On Railway Platform

Upasana Sajeev

23 May 2024 9:36 AM GMT

  • Cant Say Death Was Due To Negligent Trespass: Madras HC Orders Compensation For Family Of Man Who Was Hit By Train While Sitting On Railway Platform

    The Madras High Court recently directed the railways to compensate the family of a man who was hit by a train while sitting on the railway platform and succumbed to injuries. Justice K Rajasekar observed that since the accident had taken place while the man was sitting on the railway platform, the burden was on the Railways to prove that the incident was not one within the definition...

    The Madras High Court recently directed the railways to compensate the family of a man who was hit by a train while sitting on the railway platform and succumbed to injuries.

    Justice K Rajasekar observed that since the accident had taken place while the man was sitting on the railway platform, the burden was on the Railways to prove that the incident was not one within the definition of an untoward incident. The court added that if the accident had taken place while the man was crossing the track, the contention of the railways could have been accepted but since there was no evidence to prove that the man was sitting on the edge of the platform, it could not be termed as 'self-inflicted injury'.

    β€œThe burden to prove that the deceased and his friend have negligently sat in the platform is on the Railways. However, no evidence were adduced nor Railways has discharged their burden to show that, while they were sitting on the edge of platform, the accident has taken place. While examining the first claimant, wife of the deceased, the Railways have not come forward with the case that the deceased and his friend were sitting on the edge of the platform negligently and their act falls within the definition of the term 'self-inflicted injury',” the court observed.

    The Railway Claims Tribunal had dismissed the claim petition after enquiry holding that the deceased had recklessly crossed the railway track and sat on the edge of the railway platform. The tribunal had held that the act of the deceased could not be termed as an 'untoward incident'. The family had thus approached the court challenging the decision of the tribunal.

    The family had argued that the deceased had sustained injuries while waiting on the platform to board a train and holding a valid travel ticket. It was argued that the tribunal had dismissed the claim petition purely on suspicion raised in the DRM report which was not sustainable.

    The railway, however, argued that the accident had occurred when the deceased was trying to trespass by crossing the railway track and since it was a case of self-inflicted injury, it could not be termed as an 'untoward incident'.

    The court noted that while the DRM report said that the deceased man was sitting on the edge of the platform, the report of the Loco Pilot showed that showed that the train had hit the passengers when it entered the station.

    The court added that the railways had neither put forward a case that the deceased was negligently sitting on the edge of the platform while examining the wife nor adduced any other evidence to suggest that the accident was a result of self-inflicted injury.

    Thus, in the absence of evidence, the court directed the railways to compensate the family and ordered accordingly.

    Counsel for the Petitioner: Mr.E.Vinothkumar

    Counsel for the Respondent: Mr.M.Vijay Anand

    Citation: 2024 LiveLaw (Mad) 210

    Case Title: Riyana Begum v Union of India

    Case No: C.M.A. No. 2629 of 2021

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